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#49033 - 07/31/10 08:15 PM staying in tempo
pianoelf Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/31/10
Posts: 3
Hi,I am 30 years old and started piano about 14 years ago. I am studying for my Associate diploma (English professional performance qualificaton). Unfortunately I have always had trouble feeling the beat and vary the speed as I go. I can play with the metronome fine and clap but can't feel anything inside when I play. I can hear when others play in or out of time but not myself. I sometimes get away with it on Romantic style music that requires rubato but I can't keep Classical such as the Mozart Sonata K.309 steady so it ruins the effect. When I try to feel the beat I get 'vertical' sounding playing. I have had several piano teachers including famous conservatoire ones and they don't know what to do. I have Asperger's. Any suggestions?

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#49039 - 08/01/10 03:32 PM Re: staying in tempo [Re: pianoelf]
shannonspiano Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 694
Loc: WI
Have you tried tapping one hand as the beat while the other is playing? Another thing I find useful is recording myself- then making arrow notations on the score. -> faster <- hold back

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#49040 - 08/01/10 04:16 PM Re: staying in tempo [Re: shannonspiano]
pianoelf Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/31/10
Posts: 3
I have tried tapping one hand but I tend to start bearting in tme with the playing instead of playing in time with the beat! However I think it could really help to record myself. I will give it a go. Thanks very much for the advice.
Virginia

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#49043 - 08/02/10 02:30 PM Re: staying in tempo [Re: pianoelf]
Jala Pepper Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 144
Loc: USA
I suggest a lot of duet and ensemble performance experience. Having to keep time with everyone else helped me much more than the metronome ever did. It started out with my piano teacher making me play duets with her for church offertories. From there it went to me accompanying various vocal soloists and groups, including church choir. Hope this helps!
_________________________
A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.
Bill Cosby

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#49050 - 08/03/10 09:46 AM Re: staying in tempo [Re: Jala Pepper]
pianoelf Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/31/10
Posts: 3
Thanks for that, I will talk to my teacher about duets.

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#49464 - 08/31/10 11:35 AM Re: staying in tempo [Re: pianoelf]
gaylord Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 1
I have a student who is very musical and motivated but she cannot keep up with the metranome. She starts out okay then usually falls behind. She is in Pathways 4B repertoire. I have tried everythin I can think of to remedy this. Any ideas?

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#49465 - 08/31/10 11:54 AM Re: staying in tempo [Re: gaylord]
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Personally, I hate metranomes. I feel that staying with a metranome keeps a student from playing with feeling. They're ok for simple pieces when a student struggles with rhythm I guess, but I don't like them and I rarely use one. JMO

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#49467 - 08/31/10 12:18 PM Re: staying in tempo [Re: xstitch4me]
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
The METRONOME is a useful tool, and should be used intelligently, just as any other tool.
It is used to establish tempi,for rhythmically challenging areas, for maintaining a steady tempo (even in the difficult section), feeling the underlying pulse,etc. and many other uses.
Giving a student tools without proper training would be comparable to handing them Jason's chainsaw - dangerous!
We all understand not to "over use" it at the expense of having the music lose breath and rubato, but I can't imagine anyone never using one......
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#49470 - 08/31/10 12:40 PM Re: staying in tempo [Re: Vivace']
SillyString Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 277
Loc: Washington State
Can you find the time and the money to invest in dancing lessons? I can't think of a better way to feel rhythm than with the whole body. You should be able to interview dance teachers to find one that will help you reach your specific goals. It wouldn't have to be a whole course. Some websites offer short-term lessons so brides can dance at their weddings. Those are the people who I would contact first.

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#49482 - 08/31/10 04:35 PM Re: staying in tempo [Re: pianoelf]
baiba Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Zealand
I did the Mozart K309 for my Associate diploma, and I found that listening the recording over and over and over again really helped with my timing, as I had trouble with some sections in this.

I also tried playing it with the metronome, which helped enormously too, over and over. I find that with much listening to the repertoire, my brain got used to the rhythm, and I eventually even heard the piece in my sleep! Don't just listen to one particular recording, listen to others' too.

You could also try singing the melody while the metronome is ticking. This also helps with phrasing as well as timing, I find.

I also find that 'visualising' the beats in my head - acutally picturing the beats going by regulary, can help.

You say your work sounds vertical sounding - it will at first, even robotic - to begin with as you train your brain to play in tempo. As soon as you get used to playing at a steady tempo you can gradually add expression.

I needed to practice at least three hours per day to prepare for this exam too.


Edited by baiba (08/31/10 04:43 PM)

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